Sportsman 500 overheating - Polaris ATV Forum
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-07-2019, 06:55 AM Thread Starter
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Sportsman 500 overheating

My 2000 Sportsman 500 keeps getting hot and puking out coolant. I know the radiator is clean, both sensors are good, and the fan is working. It takes quite a while to get hot, but after it does it begins to hiss and spit fluid out of the reservoir vent hole. It'll run a long time like that, slowly spitting out coolant and the fan seems to cycle on and off normally, but eventually it spits out enough fluid for the hot light to come on and I have to shut it down.

So that leaves me with 3 possibilities......thermostat is stuck (I have a new one on order that should be here this evening), the water pump is shot, or there is air in the cooling system.

Unfortunately, I don't have an owner's manual (yes, I know that I need one), but I'm very familiar with Polaris machines (mainly RZR's and Rangers) and know what a pain they can be to get all of the air bled out of the system. Is the Sportsman the same? Where is the bleeder screw?

Is there a test I can do (other than disconnecting a water pump hose) to see if the water pump is working?

Where is the thermostat located on this machine? I assume that it's on or near the head and think I'll probably recognize it when I start searching, but it was dark last night when I limped it home and I had to work today, so I haven't had a chance to look yet.

I looked all over YouTube but can't find a video that shows/explains any of those questions. They only talk about the potential causes (which I already knew).
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-07-2019, 07:24 AM
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Possible head gasket issue?

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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-07-2019, 07:42 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mvn View Post
Possible head gasket issue?

Mark
I feel that's pretty unlikely. Its losing the coolant from the vent hole on the reservoir because it's overheating. There's no water going into the cylinder (well, there's no water or steam coming out of the exhaust), and there's no water in the oil.
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-07-2019, 11:40 AM
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I just put a new head gasket in a 2000 Polaris Sportsman 500 that was blowing coolant out of the radiator, but not getting coolant into the cylinder - problem started when the engine overheated due to a clogged radiator - after cleaning the radiator, it continued to overheat until it got to the point you couldn't keep coolant in it.

BTW - I've never seen a water pump fail to move coolant unless the shaft broke or the drive gear stripped - even if the seals are bad, as long as the impeller turns, it will move coolant.

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Last edited by latebird; 06-07-2019 at 11:42 AM.
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-07-2019, 03:04 PM Thread Starter
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Wow, I've worked on a lot of machines but have never heard of that happening. So was the gasket was made incorrectly, or had it distorted? How long had that gasket been in the machine?
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-07-2019, 03:10 PM
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Yep... sounds like a head gasket to me. The head gasket on those engines don't fail so as to allow coolant into the cylinder unless it seeps a little in when it cools down and sucks it in while sitting. They fail so that combustion pressure pushes into the cooling system and pushing coolant out the reservoir. Late 90's and early 2000's 500 its not uncommon. You need to check the deck and head surface for unevenness while you have it apart.
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-07-2019, 03:17 PM Thread Starter
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But if that was the case, wouldnt it start coming out of the reservoir not long after it was started? I can run it for nearly an hour straight before it starts puking.
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-07-2019, 03:44 PM
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Are you assuming its overheating because its pushing coolant out the overflow? Have you checked the actual coolant temp with a non contact inferred temp gun when this is occurring? The head gasket may be allowing compression pressure to leak past after it warms up?

Check the actual coolant temp and see if its overheating/boiling.


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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-07-2019, 03:57 PM Thread Starter
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Unfortunately I dont have a heat gun. All I can tell you is that it takes quite a while before it gets hot enough to start pushing out of the reservoir and that it's hot enough to be steaming when its 90* outside. Once it has leaked enough to get really hot, then the temp light comes on.
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-07-2019, 04:04 PM
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Just a question, Does the coolant system have anti freeze in or are you using plain water?



JUNE 2017 & SEPTEMBER 2018 POLARIS FORUM ATV OF THE MONTH WINNER

2019 Sportsman 850 SP Premium

Removed all Warning Decals
3500# Polaris Winch W/Synthetic Rope
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ATV-GURU.COM Front and Rear Bumpers
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New Style Polaris Lock & Ride Rear Storage Box
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Rear LED work lights/strobes



Built on March 27 2019
Purchased New April 13 2019 0.1 Hr .2 Mi
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SOLD
2006 Sportsman 800 EFI Twin
Purchased new to me on Aug 08 2016 97Hr's 811Mi
Sold Apr 07 2019 231 Hr 3126 Mi



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